It is Friday! Today is a day of recovery for me – yesterday was group therapy, individual therapy AND shots. I’m totaly whipped. This is the weekend we get the cottage back so we will be busy. Moving, cleaning and more cleaning. We gotta scrub that baby from ceiling to floorboards. We need to rid The Boyfriend’s home of all the scents of summer visitors and cleaning service chemicals.
We need to move all the knick knacks out, put the safest furniture in place and take out everything we don’t need. There are only two of us, we don’t need 15 dishes, 40 spoons and 65 cups.
Okay, exaggeration. But the point stands. We have a lot of work ahead of us this weekend.
Speaking of work – and passion, because writing is a passion for me – I have here a bit of character development for NaNo 2015.
Ted decided he wanted an interview. And, of course, he started the interview in the middle. This interview is done from the perspective of an interviewer who knows a little about her subject. She knows that Ted stopped [whatever the conflict is] and she wants to write a book about him. Ted is quite the guy. Take a look:
This is my interview with Theodore “Ted” Terwilliger. He is an intriguing man. I was so taken with him that I forgot to turn my recorder on until part way through the interview. I will, therefore, back track some later in the interview.
What were you in a former life?
Plainly put: I was a bounty hunter for the US Government.
What does that mean?
I was a US Marshal who hunted criminals that the local types can’t find, or don’t have the jurisdiction to hunt. Sometimes I worked in tandem with them.
Oh I see. And now you own a ranch here in Ontario? Where did you used to live?
[He arches a brow, looks almost defensive but not quite] Yeah, I relocated. So what? My wife, Cilla, and my son, Paulie, had a home in Portland, Tennessee.
Where are they now?
[His face closes up. His whole body stiffens.] Dead.
I’m so sorry. What happened?
I don’t want to discuss it.
Please. I need to know to write about you accurately.
[His face fills with fury, vein throbbing at the temple] Someone blew up my house.
Do you know who?
Not yet, but when I do… [The vibe coming from him makes me shiver.]
If you’re still looking, why are you in Ontario?
It’s for the best.
[I decide to leave this alone for the moment] Okay, Ted. What else can you tell me?
That scar on my ass? That was from when I was about ten. My brother and I –
[I interrupt. Totally unprofessional, I know, but I was surprised. Nothing in the minimal info I have about him mentions a sibling.] I didn’t know you had a brother.
[The look he gives me is… well, reprimanding.] “Had” is the operative word.
Um… okay. I’m sorry.
My brother and I went to an estate auction with our parents. Momma went inside to look at jewelry and dishes and whatnot. Sam and I went with Daddy to look at the farm equipment. [He holds up a hand to forestall my question.] Yes, I was raised on a ranch. Sam and I were goofing off, as boys do. He shoved me and I stumbled, straight back onto an old combine header, the kind with the spikes.
The skinny, sharp spikes.
Someone caught me but not before one of them damned spikes tried to lift my left cheek off my body.
End of auction for the family.
Beginning of months of chore lists as long as our legs.
Forty stitches in my ass, by the way.
Wow! I bet that hurt.
[A wry smile] The chores or the wound?
Tell me about Sam.
[The sadness in his eyes makes me want to hug him.] Sam was my twin. He died when we were seventeen. By then we’d begun hanging out with different crowds. We were never far from each other but… different tastes in everything. I was a 4-H member of long standing and Sam was a hair band aficionado. He drank and experimented with drugs. I rocked with country music and a good girl who liked to dance in my truck bed.
I was with her the night Sam and his friend decided to steal the friend’s dad’s truck. They robbed a pharmacy…
Security guard was shooting at them as they were fleeing. He hit Sam in the back and the bullet’s path ended in Sam’s heart. [His eyes get distant, unfocused.] The guard shot himself in the head while he was awaiting trial. He couldn’t live with killing a kid.
Is that why you went into law enforcement?
No. I went wild that year. Skipped school. Started smoking. Ignored my duties to my parents. Dad just about disowned me. I tried the drugs my brother took. Boosted cars, lookin’ for the thrill. One car belonged to the local mob boss.
He turned you in?
No. He offered me a job. But he said I had to go to school, he couldn’t have a drug addled, ignorant schlub finding information for him. He paid half my college tuition, called it a scholarship to my parents. He and I discovered that I loved justice but not the law. He said I could only change it from the inside and sent me to college, pre-law. I went to cop college halfway through when it turned out being a suit didn’t…well, suit me.
What did he have you doing for him?
Finding information. There was never anything illegal. Research. A meal here, sittin’ near a guy whose picture he’d given me. Chess games in the park with old men and some not so old, though they seemed it. They talked to each other over my head. All I had to do was tell him what I’d found and heard. Sometimes I had to interpret it for him.
What happened to that job?
He fired me when the US Marshals recruited me my first year as a flat foot.
Why did they recruit you?
I was very good at sticking my nose into things. My first Sarge gave me a cold case file to try and restrain me. I solved the case AND found the perp. It was high profile, attracted attention. I went straight into the Fugitive Operations division. I didn’t have the degree they wanted so I went to night school while they trained me to hunt assholes who thought they could outrun justice. Became so intimate with the law I might well have been sleeping with Lady Justice. I rose through the ranks quickly, became Deputy US Marshall Supervisor in five years. I moved to the SOG – the USMS special forces.
Sounds like you were good at your job. Why’d you leave it?
Because some asshole blew up my goddamn life.
There is much more to his back story and I’m getting there. For now, this is a good start. I know what makes him all dark inside. I’m working on what makes him light and good.
I think it has a lot to do with the love he carries – for his parents, his brother, his wife and his son. No matter how hurt he is by her death, his eyes and mouth still soften when he talks about her.
Next week! More about them. Cilla (short for Priscilla) and Paulie. More about the relationship with his parents. And introducing his best friend and the woman he calls a friend and shares the occasional night with.
Have a great Friday everyone!